Evaluation Planning: A Framework
Federal grant programs increasingly require inclusion of a detailed plan for research or extension objectives to be evaluated as part of the proposed project. For example, the Regional IPM Competitive Grant Program (RIPM) defines the components needed for an effective evaluation plan. Although the exact language varies among grant programs, evaluation planning boils down to 3 basic elements:
1. What is your evaluation objective?
What changes do you want to document? (e.g, changes in knowledge, attitude, behavior).
2. What are the indicators that will tell you if you have reached that goal?
What data will you collect? (e.g., pest population levels, pesticide use data, economic data).
3. What methods will you use to document outcomes / impacts?
How will you collect and analyze the data? (e.g., online survey, social network analysis, cost-benefit analysis).
These 3 elements or steps are described in the pages that follow. Proposal Requests For Applications (RFA's) often state: “Logic models or other established methods may be used” in the evaluation plan. The next page discusses the relationship between Logic Models and evaluation planning.